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Evan Mathias Royster (born November 26, 1987) is a former American football running back. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Penn State University, where he was a three-year starter and an all-time leading rusher.[1]

Evan Royster
refer to caption
Royster at Redskins training camp in 2012.
No. 35, 22
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1987-11-26) November 26, 1987 (age 31)
Fairfax, Virginia
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Chantilly (VA) Westfield
College:Penn State
NFL Draft:2011 / Round: 6 / Pick: 177
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:81
Rushing yards:416
Rushing touchdowns:2
Receiving yards:180
Receiving touchdowns:0
Player stats at

High school careerEdit

Royster attended Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia, where he totalled 6,384 yards on 750 carries (8.5 avg.) and 90 touchdowns and helped Westfield win three Concorde District Championships. As a sophomore, he ran for 1,690 yards and 22 touchdowns leading Westfield to their first state championship in school history. He added 2,160 yards and 30 touchdowns in his junior year. During his senior year, Royster amassed 2,200 rushing yards and again tallied 30 touchdowns. He was a first-team all-state selection and Washington Post first-team All-Met.

Regarded as a three-star recruit by, Royster was listed as the #26 running back prospect in the class of 2006.[2] He chose Penn State over offers from Maryland, Nebraska, and Virginia Tech.

While at Westfield High School, Royster was one of the most coveted lacrosse prospects in the country.[3] He scored 33 goals as a senior and played in the prestigious North-South All-American Lacrosse all-star game.[1] He was heavily recruited by traditional lacrosse powerhouses such as Virginia and Johns Hopkins.[3]

Royster became the second player in Westfield Bulldog football history to have his jersey retired. The Bulldogs retired Royster's #24 jersey during halftime of a 2012 game when the Bulldogs went up against Fairfax High School Rebels. Royster's #24 was second to Eddie Royal's #5 when Royal had his jersey retired in 2009 when the Bulldogs went up against the Chantilly High School Chargers.

College careerEdit

Royster getting the ball handed off to him from Daryll Clark.

Royster redshirted during his freshmen year at Penn State. Royster, recruited out of Virginia, chose Penn State over other NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) programs across the country like the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Florida Gators and the Maryland Terrapins.[4]

Royster made his college football debut on September 1, 2007 against the FIU Golden Panthers. He played a significant role in the Penn State offense for the 2007 season. He was the second leading rusher behind Rodney Kinlaw, rushing for 513 yards on 82 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average. He scored the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter of the 2007 Alamo Bowl against the Texas A&M Aggies.[1]

Royster made his season debut against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers on August 30, 2008 at Beaver Stadium. Royster and the offense helped guide the Nittany Lions to a 66-10 defeat of Division I FCS Chanticleers. Royster saw limited action in the rout. He had 64 yards on 8 carries for a career-high 3 touchdowns.[5] Royster was pulled from the game following his third touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter when Coach Paterno sat all his starters in favor of the backups.

On September 6, 2008, against the Oregon State Beavers, Royster put up 141 yards on 17 carries. He added 3 touchdowns in the 45-14 blowout win before being taken out of the game. He was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive player of the week.[6]

Royster had his second straight 100-yard game against the Syracuse Orange on September 13, 2008. He gained 101 yards on 13 carries in the 55-13 victory.

In Penn State's 45-3 rout of the Temple Owls, Royster rushed 9 times for 73 yards and tacked on a touchdown.

Royster picked up 139 yards on 19 carries in Penn State's 38-24 win over Illinois.

In the second Big Ten matchup of the 2008 season, Royster powered Penn State past Purdue with 141 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He also added 53 receiving yards on four catches.

Royster added 60 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in Penn State's 48-7 thrashing of the Wisconsin Badgers on October 11. His contributions led to Penn State being ranked number 3 in the country in the October 13 AP poll.

Against the Michigan Wolverines (who had beaten Penn State 9 straight times leading into the October 17 tilt), Royster set a career rushing high. Royster ran for 174 yards on 18 carries, with a 44-yard TD run in the first quarter. He also added 3 catches for 13 yards in the 46-17 homecoming victory.[7]

On October 25, 2008, Royster rushed 19 times for 77 yards in Penn State's game against Ohio State. He tacked on 20 receiving yards on 3 catches in the Nittany Lions' 13-6 triumph. The win against the then 9th-ranked Buckeyes was Penn State's first victory at The Horseshoe since 1978.[8]

Leading the then 3rd-ranked Nittany Lions against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Royster set a career-high with 26 carries. He managed 90 yards and a touchdown in the shocking 24-23 upset loss to the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.

On November 15, 2008, the Nittany Lions squared off against the Hoosiers of Indiana University. Royster rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries in chilly, rainy atmosphere of Beaver Stadium. Bouncing off three tacklers, he added his 11th rushing touchdown of the year on a 19-yard run in the third quarter. After leading 10-7 at the half, Penn State pulled away for a 34-7 victory.

Royster got off to a slow start, getting just 102 yards on 26 carries vs. Akron and Syracuse, but rebounded vs. Temple, rushing 19 times for 134 yards. The next week vs. Iowa Royster got just 69 yards on 17 carries, but vs. Illinois he got 105 yards on 17 carries, with a long of 20 and a touchdown. Against Eastern Illinois, he got 94 yards on just eight carries, for an 11.8 yards per carry average. His next three games versus Minnesota, Michigan, and Northwestern, he got over 100 yards in each of those games, averaging over 6 yards per carry overall in those 3 games. Following Penn State's victory at the 2010 Capital One Bowl, Royster announced that he would forgo the 2010 NFL Draft and play his senior year at Penn State.[9]

Royster completed his senior season as Penn State's all-time leading rusher having passed Curt Warner's nearly 30-year-old record during the Michigan game. He completed the season with 1014 rushing yards, making him the only Penn State running back with three 1,000+ yard seasons. His career totals amounted to 3,932 yards on 686 carries, with 29 rushing touchdowns.[10]

Royster was selected to play in the 86th East-West Shrine Game played on January 22, 2011, at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Florida.[11]

College statisticsEdit

Year Team Att Yards Average TDs Receptions Yards TDs
2006 Penn State
2007 Penn State 82 513 6.3 5 3 18 0
2008 Penn State 191 1,236 6.5 12 17 155 0
2009 Penn State 205 1,169 5.7 6 16 187 2
2010 Penn State 208 1,014 4.9 6 25 202 1
College Totals 686 3,932 5.7 29 61 562 3

Professional careerEdit

2011 NFL CombineEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
212 lb
(96 kg)
30 34 in
(0.78 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.65 s 1.59 s 2.64 s 4.18 s 7.07 s 34.0 in
(0.86 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
20 reps
All values from NFL Combine[12][13]

Washington RedskinsEdit

2011 SeasonEdit

Royster (center) at Redskins training camp in 2011.

Royster was drafted 177th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.[14] He was expected to compete with former Redskins' running back, Ryan Torain, and fellow 2011 Redskins' draftee, Roy Helu, but Royster did not make the 53-man roster and was cut on September 3. On September 4, 2011, Royster was signed to the practice squad.[15] He was elevated to the Redskins active roster on November 22, 2011 when the Redskins waived Tashard Choice following Tim Hightower's season-ending injury.[16] In Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks, Royster made his NFL debut. Royster would have his first career start in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings, getting 132 yards on only 19 carries.[17] In Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Royster recorded 113 yards on 20 carries while suffering rib injuries.[18] At the end of his rookie season, Royster recorded 328 yards on 56 carries making him the second leader in rushing yards behind fellow rookie, Roy Helu, and beating the original starting running back, Tim Hightower.[19]

2012 SeasonEdit

Royster was expected to compete for the starting spot in the 2012 season against Roy Helu and Tim Hightower,[20] but lost the competition to rookie Alfred Morris. Before starting the season, he changed his jersey number to 22, his college jersey number.[21] He scored his first career touchdown in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers.[22] In the Week 15 win over the Cleveland Browns, he would score his second career touchdown.[23]

2013 SeasonEdit

With the return of Helu, Royster was made the third-string running back and played more on special teams. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering a high ankle sprain after the Week 14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.[24]

2014 SeasonEdit

The Redskins released Royster on August 30, 2014 for final roster cuts before the start of the 2014 season, losing the third-string running back position to former Penn State teammate, Silas Redd.[25]

Atlanta FalconsEdit

2015 SeasonEdit

Royster signed with the Atlanta Falcons on August 16, 2015.[26] He was waived/injured by the Falcons on August 26, 2015.[27] On the following day, he cleared waivers and was reverted to the Falcons' injured reserve list. On September 1, 2015, he was released by the Falcons with an injury settlement.

Personal lifeEdit

On May 30, 2014, Evan married his longtime girlfriend Jaclyn McDonald. Evan is the younger brother of former Parade All-American and Stanford wide receiver Brandon Royster.[28] He is also the younger brother of Cosmo's 2008 Virginia Bachelor Kyle Royster.[29]


  1. ^ a b c "22 Evan Royster". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
  2. ^ "Running backs 2006",, January 31, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Viera, Mark (October 9, 2008). "Laying Down Lacrosse Stick and Picking Up Penn State". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  4. ^ "Evan Royster". Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  5. ^ "Coastal Carolina vs Penn State (Aug 30, 2008)". Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved September 2, 2008.
  6. ^ "Big Ten Honors Three Offensive Players of the Week in Football For First Time Since 1997". Big Ten Conference. September 8, 2008. Archived from the original on September 9, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  7. ^ Russo, Ralph D. (October 25, 2008). "No. 3 Penn State breaks Michigan hex in 46-17 win". Yahoo News. Yahoo Sports. Retrieved October 25, 2008.[dead link]
  8. ^ Miller, Rusty (October 25, 2008). "Lions score last 10 to win, 13-6". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  9. ^ Adam Rittenberg (January 6, 2010). "Penn State's Royster to return". Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  10. ^ Musselman, Ron (January 2, 2011). "Outback Bowl Notebook: Royster finishes career in style". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  11. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (January 6, 2011). "Big Ten players filling Shrine Game roster". ESPN.
  12. ^ NFL Combine Profile
  13. ^ NFL Draft Scout
  14. ^ "2011 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  15. ^ Jones, Mike (September 4, 2011). "Evan Royster, four others signed to Redskins' practice squad". Retrieved September 4, 2011.
  16. ^ Jones, Mike (November 22, 2011). "Evan Royster added to roster; Tashard Choice waived". Retrieved November 22, 2011.
  17. ^ Maese, Rick (December 24, 2011). "Evan Royster has breakout performance for Washington Redskins". Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  18. ^ Maese, Rick (January 1, 2012). "Evan Royster again tops 100 yards for Redskins". Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  19. ^ "Roster Review: Running Backs". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  20. ^ Tinsman, Brian (July 26, 2012). "Shanahan: Running Back Competition Open". Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  21. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik (September 4, 2012). "Royster changes number, hopes to start Sunday". Retrieved September 8, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Walker, Andrew (November 4, 2012). "Royster Scores First Career Touchdown". Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  23. ^ Tinsman, Brian (December 17, 2012). "Victory Monday Stats Pack: Redskins-Browns". Redskins. Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  24. ^ Tinsman, Brian (December 10, 2013). "Evan Royster Done For The Season". Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Keim, John (August 30, 2014). "Washington Redskins cut three RBs". Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  26. ^ Alper, Josh. "Falcons sign Evan Royster". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  27. ^ Conway, Kelsey (August 26, 2015). "Falcons Sign QB Grossman, Waive RB Roster". Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  28. ^ Barr, Josh (August 19, 2005). "Royster will keep them on their toes". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  29. ^ Magazine, Cosmopolitan. "Virginia Bachelors 2008". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved December 12, 2012.

External linksEdit